CHAPTER ONE: RELIGION
Islam and Christianity have many different sects, but each of them is still part of the main religious grouping. One way that a religion can show that members belong to a sect is by performing rituals . An example of ritual is attendance at a church, mosque, temple, or synagogue on certain days or times for worship. Rituals are typically the most visible part of a religion to people who do not follow the religion. What Types of Religion Exist? Various types of religions exist throughout the world. We can describe most religions as being either inclusive or exclusive, and as either universalizing or ethnic. An inclusive religion is a religion that believes there are multiple paths to understanding the higher power or achieving the goals of any religion. Examples of inclusive religions are Hinduism and Buddhism. Conversely, an exclusive religion asserts that followers are the only people who understand the pathway to God or the higher power, and that one must follow that guide if they are to be part of the religion. Islam and Christianity are good examples of exclusive religions. However, Islam and Christianity are not just exclusive religions; they are also universalizing. A universalizing religion is a one that allows for anyone to convert to the faith, and in fact members are morally required to attempt to convert people to their religion. Missionary activity is very common in universalizing religions, which helps the religion spread by conversions to the faith. Faiths that one must be born into are known as ethnic religions . Missionary activities are not necessary, because everyone knows who belongs based on their heritage. Examples of ethnic religions are Judaism and Hinduism; children of Hindu or Jewish parents are automatically part of the religion by a blood relationship. It is possible, however, for people of other ethnicities to convert to, or at least participate in, an ethnic religion. Ethnic religions typically grow as quickly as the population, while universalizing religions grow as quickly as conversions occur.
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